August Goes to the Mega-Events

geocaching block party blog

Are you a Mega Geocacher? 

August is awash with Geocaching Mega-Events around the world. A Mega-Event connects hundreds or even thousands of adventurers from every level of geocaching. Those who walk into a Mega-Event step into adventure, family-friendly activities and, of course, all things geocaching. Whether you’re excited about finding your first geocache or you’ve already found each of the 2.1 million caches hidden around the world*, attending a Mega-Event is sure to be fun. And there’s a Mega-Event every geocacher should plan to attend at least once: the Geocaching Block Party in Seattle.

If you’re joining thousands of your geocaching friends for the Geocaching Block Party this Saturday, August 17, log your “Will Attend” and share the news through the Geocaching Facebook Event page. This year’s Block Party weekend promises more geocaching, more fun and more events. Plus, Geocaching HQ will debut new geocaching ideas for attendees to play with. Once the sun goes down on Saturday, you’ll cozy up in front of a giant outdoor movie screen for the first annual Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF). GIFF will showcase the best videos from geocachers around the world.

Whether you attend the Geocaching Block Party this year or in the future, we’ll be here ready to swap tales and show you the latest in geocaching tips, tricks and tech. Can’t make it to Seattle? Check here to see if there is a Mega-Event near you.

*Not humanly possible, but don’t let that stop you from trying.

Geocaching Tech Update

Update now to the latest version of the Geocaching Android App. Check out the powerful new search, maps and toggle functions: http://bit.ly/GeocachingAndroid

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13 Years Lisboa — Bryan Roth’s Trip to a Portugal Mega-Event

Bryan Roth with Signal.
Bryan Roth with Signal.

Geocaching HQ staff are joining geocachers at Mega-Events around the world to celebrate and share the adventure of geocaching. One of the founders of Geocaching.com, Bryan Roth, a.k.a. Bryan, traveled from Seattle, WA to Lisbon, Portugal last June for the 13 Years Lisboa Mega-Event (GC42FFG). He says he was inspired to go by the exciting and growing Portuguese geocaching community and by other Geocaching HQ staffers who attended a Portuguese Mega-Event and raved about their experiences.

The Seeker awards.
The Seeker awards.

After arriving in Portugal, Bryan did what any geocacher would do—look for a geocache near the hotel. There was only one problem: the geocache description was in Portuguese. However, this didn’t stop him from searching. Luckily, Boonieh&  Cllydeh, some super-friendly members of the Portuguese geocaching community showed up. They helped Bryan find his first geocache in Portugal and decided to attend the Mega-Event as well. With a geocache found, it was back to the hotel before meeting the Geocacherzone Portugal team for dinner and then a good night’s rest before the Mega-Event.

Fraldinhas, the Mega-Event's host.
Fraldinhas, the Mega-Event’s host.

The next few days brought tons of activities for geocachers from Portugal and many other countries around the world. In fact, the event gained so much popularity, there were a few stories on the local news channels about it. The Mega-Event host, Fraldinhas, with help from his parents, Xana and Nuno, and many volunteers, created an exceptional four-day event that included night caching, a Lisbon bus tour, a much-needed CITO Event (GC4BNP8), an awards ceremony, a traditional Portuguese singing group with a rendition of “Geocaching Portugal”, a number of meet-and-greets, “Bruning” with the local Geocaching Volunteer Reviewers, and (of course) plenty of geocaching. The awards, known as the “Seeker Awards”, were given out to geocachers in multiple categories, including Best Maintenance, Best Log, Best Cache and more. Bryan ended his trip with another Mega-Event Cache hosted by Fraldinhas, the Hike @ Belém, that featured a walking tour of a number of geocaches at historical places within Lisbon.

Bryan says, “It was truly an honor for me to attend this International Mega Event, spend time with so many exceptional geocachers and experience Lisbon, Portugal in such a unique way.  I would thank all of the organizers for all the work they did to plan multiple days of fun geocaching activities for everyone that showed up. I also want to thank all of the geocachers who took the time to speak with me and make me feel so welcome in Portugal.” He would also like to give a special shout-out to Fraldinhas, Xana and Nuno for all of their guidance and support during his trip.

 

 

Check out some more photos from Bryan’s trip:

Attendees of the Hike @ Belem.
Attendees of the Hike @ Belem.
"Bruning" in Lisbon. It's kind of like planking, but on your back.
“Bruning” in Lisbon. It’s kind of like planking, but on your back.
The Geocaching Choir
The Geocaching Choir
The 13 Years Lisboa pinboard. Can you find Bryan's pin?
The 13 Years Lisboa pinboard. Can you find Bryan’s pin?
Night caching in Portugal
Night caching in Portugal
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28 Upcoming Mega-Events. 28 Reasons to Go. Coincidence? No.

block party mega event blog picMega-Events, or any Geocaching Event, are a way to decode all the unanswered mystery surrounding geocaching. You’ll discover geocaching experts who love to share their love of geocaching. It might be as easy as asking, “What’s it mean when the clue says you should tie your shoe?” (It typically means to bend down and look under a bench). You might also connect with new friends to help power your geocaching exploration. And that’s just the beginning. Here are 28 reasons, in no particular order, about what you could experience at a Mega-Event:

Earn a smiley. Meet local volunteers. Discover new friendships. Geocache before and after. Sign the official log book. Meet vendors.Buy sweet swag. Trade trackables. Ask questions. Ask more questions.Eat good food. Try something new. Discover a new city. Rediscover an old city. Connect geocaching names with faces. Take a picture with Geocaching mascot Signal. Be in-the-know on the latest trends. Discover trackables. Rekindle friendships. Introduce your kids to a new adventure. Log a new geocache type. Pinpoint a destination for your next trip. Compare epic geocaching stories! Find love (it’s happened before). Talk with someone who works at Geocaching HQ. Get inspired for your next hide. Brush up on your GPS tech skills. Get tips to finally find unfound geocaches. 

If you’re searching for a great Mega-Event, check out the Geocaching Block Party in Seattle onAugust 17. The worldwide community will be attending and celebrating geocaching right outside Geocaching HQ. Do you know of a few more reasons to attend a Mega-Event? Share them with the geocaching community on comments below, or on our Facebook page.

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New York Mega-Event as a Homecoming

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are joining geocachers at Mega-Events around the world to celebrate and share the adventure of geocaching. Amy Faulkner, a.k.a. Theworldisfun, attended Allegheny State Park Geobash VIII (GC3P9M9) in New York, USA in May. Amy has been with Geocaching HQ as an Events Production Manager since 2013. This is Amy’s account of her trip.

Amy a.k.a. Theworldisgood
Amy a.k.a. Theworldisfun

I recently had the privilege of attending the Allegheny State Park Geobash VIII (GC3P9M9). I’m sure that everyone’s first visit to a Mega event holds a special place in their heart but this particular trip was extra special to me as it was a bit of a homecoming. I grew up in the area where the event took place so my flight across the country served many purposes: I was able to attend my first Mega event as a lackey, see my family , and meet a lot of new and interesting people in the Geocaching community.

Cool geocache
Cool geocache

As someone fairly new to Geocaching HQ, attending your first Mega event is slightly overwhelming and incredibly exciting at the same time. I arrived at the beautiful state park location on Friday evening just in time for the bonfire. Walking up to the site I immediately knew this was going to be a life changing experience. Every person there, despite many of them being strangers, had one common bond: Geocaching. Listening to the stories shared around the fire solidified what I already knew – geocachers are a great community.

The welcoming and hospitality was especially appreciated because I attended the event with my parents both non-geocachers. Throughout the weekend I continued to meet so many interesting geocachers each with a great story as to how they became involved in the game, their favorite geocache, what it means to them, etc.. There were way too many people that contributed to making this trip so memorable for me but a few of the standout were:

Team-Ducky
Team-Ducky

The ASPGB Committee: These guys worked really hard to make a great event.

Team-Ducky: I’ll admit I am a sucker for a box of Sharpies and something to use them on. The duo that makes Team-Ducky travels with those Sharpies and a bunch of blank rubber duckies. You may find one in a geocache someday. I even had the opportunity to make one myself but the highlight was the one that they made for me.

benny06: Also a first time Mega event attendee, we exchanged travel stories and favorite finds.

scrabblehounds: I am a big fan of dogs and scrabblehounds’ dog Neko may be one of my favorites.

Cherry Spawn: his enthusiasm for all things geocaching is contagious

At the end of the weekend, when all was said and done, the ASPGB VIII was an amazing event to attend. It was well organized by a great geocaching community, the people that were there were friendly, welcoming, and enthusiastic about the game, and I can now proudly say that my parents are geocachers. I can’t wait till next year.

Mega-Event Group Picture
Mega-Event Group Picture

 

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MidWest GeoBash 2012

Sometimes a simple match won’t do for a Mega-Event fire

Groundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. throughout the year to share smiles, shake hands, and make geocaching memories at nearly 20 Mega-Events worldwide. Justin Dover aka dova dov, attended the Mega-Event Midwest GeoBash 2012 (GC34GFG) The Mega-Event took place in Wauseon, Ohio. Justin has served as a Lackey since 2009 and is an engineer in IT – basically he’s one of the hamsters. Here’s Justin’s account of his adventure.

Justin Dover aka dova dov

By Justin Dover:

Working at Groundspeak for nearly three years, I’ve had a few opportunities to travel.  My most recent adventure was to the great state of Ohio for the 8th annual MidWest GeoBash.  For the fourth year in a row, the event has been held over four days at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon, OH.  This venue supports several hundred campsites with access to RV hookups and shower facilities.

I selected this destination over other options because of the hype for MWGB around the office.  Over the years, dozens of Lackeys have attended, and they each have stories that seemed almost too good to be true.  Lackey Raine accompanied me on this trip to make it his fifth time attending.  His previous experience and knowledge of regular attendees made for a comfortable and unforgettable experience.  When we arrived we were immediately whisked away via golf cart to meet up with main organizers, dubbed “the big three”:  Mike (Trippy1976), Sonja (-Eleanor-) and Pete (The Moop Along).  They explained the history of the event, why themes play an important role and the several venues that had come before the now permanent home at FCF.  It’s amazing how successful this non-profit event has become, and it’s all made possible through the hard work of numerous of volunteers and generous donations.

Mega-Event sized Jenga

During the day, this event is like most others that I’ve attended.  Cachers walk around socializing, filling out geo-bingo cards and getting to know interesting and sometimes random facts about each other.  For the past several years, there has been a geocoin Texas Hold-em poker tournament where the buy-in is three unique, unactivated geoicoins and the lot is split among the top three finishers.  Other activities include a campfire cook-off, poker run and tons of opportunities to log new finds.

Lackeys Raine and Justin at MidWest GeoBash

What happens when the sun goes down is what separates the event from many others.  Each night, at 10pm, Matt (Lord Elwood) comes out wielding a propane ditch burner and captures the attention of the masses located near the front of the encampment.  This location holds the moniker of “Area 51”, and is typically better known for pyrotechnics, adults unwinding and rekindling friendships over a drink. With torch still in hand, the rounds are made to each of the fire pits and the wood is engulfed in flame faster than thought possible.

There were other activities going on like life-sized Jenga.  Either way, you will not leave Area 51 thirsty and you will most certainly not be bored.  I felt right at home among Midwesterners. Everyone I encountered was friendly, fun, and knows how to have a great time.  As the saying goes at MidWest GeoBash “First of the day!” And I hope I get to say it again next year, especially since the theme of MidWest GeoBash 2013 is Mardi Gras.

Closing Ceremonies